Latest Rail News

27.11.15

NR profits down and punctuality target missed, but New Year around the corner

Network Rail has revealed in its half yearly report that it has narrowly missed its punctuality target as “more than one in 10 trains” arrived late. 

Also, in what has been a tough couple of weeks, the rail infrastructure owner highlighted that its pretax profits, all of which is reinvested in the railway network, fell from £321m to £246m. 

The state-owned group, which manages stations and more than 20,000 miles of track, said it wants 90% of train to run to schedule, but during the six months to the end of September it missed that objective by about 0.5%. 

But a number of improvement plans across the network have been initiated to improve train performance, said the company, with more still to come. 

Last week the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) lambasted Network Rail for agreeing to an “unrealistic” programme of rail investment for CP5. The company then admitted that it was “overly ambitious” in what it could achieve. 

And even the Hendy and Bowe reviews this week have identified plenty of areas where improvements can be made.  

However, after weathering the storm of the last couple of weeks – and despite the disappointment in its half year report – Network Rail may now be able to take a breath and look towards a more optimistic New Year. 

The company said: “This is an important period for the railway network. Demand from increased passenger numbers, and freight users continues to grow, and our railway continues to be the fastest growing in Europe, as well as its safest. To respond to that growth we continue to invest heavily in growing and expanding the network to provide a better and improving service to passengers and freight services. 

“The Shaw review due to be published in Spring 2016 will report on the future shape and financing of Network Rail. We believe in further devolution to route businesses that will provide sharper focus on delivering outstanding performance and innovating with customers. This is the path we will take over the next few months and years. But we welcome the longer-term view that this report will set out, and look forward to engaging in opportunities to build on our vision of a better railway for a better Britain.”

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